TAMPA, Fla. - Larry Rothschild prefers his pitchers to be early risers during spring training, and he's found members of his most recent staff more than receptive to it.
In spring training in previous years, Yankees pitchers have thrown their bullpen sessions in groups later in the morning - usually at 11:30 or so. But new pitching coach Rothschild has had CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett - and other pitchers - in at 8:30, which is nearly two hours before players are required to be in uniform.
Hughes, Ivan Nova and Joba Chamberlain were among those throwing early Friday.
"It's so I can do one-on-one stuff," said Rothschild, who has done the early sessions his entire career as a pitching coach. "I get more time, more familiar with them."
Burnett threw early Tuesday and Thursday.
"He's watching two people instead of six," Burnett said. "I like doing stuff early anyway, and this way you're going to get more attention. I think it's good from the standpoint there's no one else really around."
Manager Joe Girardi said the schedule alteration is fine by him.
"I like it because you get more one-on-one time with certain guys," Girardi said. "The day's not as long for all the players involved. It gives him the ability to get to know guys better."
Noesi still a no-show
Position players report Saturday, and Girardi said all are expected on time. Righthander Hector Noesi, a long-shot candidate for a rotation spot, still hasn't arrived because of visa issues. Girardi, who thinks the pitcher should be in camp by Sunday, said Noesi shouldn't be too far behind, if at all.
"I'm hoping it doesn't have much of an impact," he said. "I hope he's been doing his throwing and I'm sure he has been doing his throwing, so he should be on pace with the other guys."